Everyone knows the old adage "you never got sacked for buying IBM", although this may be more for the older generations these days. Briefly put, it referred to buying from bigger companies simply because it was a safer bet. You may not have got the latest thinking or latest technology, but that was the trade off to ensuring the company would still be around next year.
As someone who works solely with small businesses, I believe this is wrong in so many ways:
- Bigger companies are at risk of going under. Lehman Brothers is no more. BlackBerry is a shadow of its old self - and there are many more.
- Taking advantage of new thinking that small businesses bring to the table will give companies a competitive advantage over their competitors.
- Small businesses represent 99% of all companies, so its not as if there isn't going to be someone who can meet the needs of the public sector.
- Think of the CSR points!
- The costs of running bigger companies simply adds bulk to the charges they make to councils. It is almost always better value to use a smaller company.
I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Procurement teams need to stop thinking about themselves and looking after both the taxpayer and the small businesses in their local area
Local councils in the north of England are holding back economic development by failing to procure IT contracts from SMEs. More than half of 28 large councils whose spending was analysed failed to place any IT contracts with small suppliers, despite government targets that one quarter of public organisations’ IT budget should be spent with SMEs.